.....my life lies in those eyes that have me slain

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Citizens of the World

Have a look at the following mail that is circulating in the networks these days...

Inches of rain in new orleans due to hurricane katrina... 18
Inches of rain in mumbai (July 27th).... 37.1

Population of new orleans... 484,674
Population of mumbai.... 12,622,500

Deaths in new orleans within 48 hours of katrina...100
Deaths in mumbai within 48hours of rain.. 37.

Number of people to be evacuated in new orleans... entire city..wohh
Number of people evacuated in mumbai...10,000

Cases of shooting and violence in new orleans...Countless
Cases of shooting and violence in mumbai.. NONE

Time taken for US army to reach new orleans... 48hours
Time taken for Indian army and navy to reach mumbai...12hours

Status 48hours later...new orleans is still waiting for relief, army and electricty
Status 48hours later..mumbai is back on its feet and is business is as usual

USA...world's most developed nation
India...third world country..

oopss...did i get the last fact wrong???

To put it simply, I couldn't believe what I was reading! How could such apathy creep into people's hearts? Come off it, folks!! What, precisely, is the matter with you? People are dying, starving out there and a few of us are smugly sitting in chilled rooms and sending out such mindless statistics. Do we need to point out these differences even in such turbulent times?! Can't we, for once, be citizens of the world? Can't we channelize our energies into praying for them, donating funds for them, doing something, however little, to bring relief to them?

Now below is a reply to the above mail that Saahil composed, after hunting for all the relevant details on the Internet.

Hurricane Katrina -- Speed of wind in New Orleans recorded 160mph i.e. 256 kmph
Rains in Mumbai -- Wind speed recorded of 45-60 kmph

Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history — a humanitarian crisis on a scale unseen in the U.S. since the American Civil War

Rains in Mumbai, highest ever in a day in India (says IMD, which is still debated, coz Internet searches show higher rainfall in a day in India). Nevertheless, it is nowhere close to being one of the worst natural disasters of India.

Hurricane Katrina -- 80% of New Orleans area is below sea level, meaning the water has nowhere to go.
Rain in Mumbai -- 33% of Mumbai mainland got flooded due to rains

Oh! By the way...

Area of New Orleans -- 907.0 km²
Area of Mumbai -- 468 km2

Hurricane Katrina -- Many parts of city submerged to the extent of 20 feet
Rains in Mumbai -- Maximum flooding of water, 15 feet in certain areas of Kalina

Hurricane Katrina -- Insurance claims of USD 26 Billion
Rains in Mumbai -- Insurance claims of USD 348 Million

Hurricane Katrina -- Deaths expected after situation gets normal are more than 10,000
Rains in Mumbai -- Deaths estimated 1,500 across Maharashtra due to rains in various parts of the state.

This is not to compare a third-world country & the most developed nation on Earth. I just could not digest the fact that someone could even think of comparing Hurricane Katrina & the rains in Mumbai. And moreover from the perspective of comparing the state of development...!

Still, some information...

State of Mumbai during rains -- Radio stations and many television stations did not receive any weather warnings or alerts by the civic agencies. The Met department blamed it on the lack of sophisticated Doppler radars which would have given a 3 hour prior warning.

State of New Orleans BEFORE hurricane Katrina -- The President declared a state of emergency in Louisiana, two days before the hurricane made landfall. This declaration activated efforts by Federal Emergency Management Agency to position stockpiles of food, water and medical supplies throughout Louisiana and Mississippi more than a day before Katrina made landfall

Nevertheless, I thought let me contribute with some facts, for those who thought Hurricane Katrina was only about 17 inches of rains...and 100 deaths in the first 48 hours of destruction!!!

I must say I'm proud of my dear Saahil! I thouroughly laud the efforts he made into compiling such a reply. A little thoughtfulness, a little compassion, a little humanity, and a feeling of solidarity...is the need of the hour. May the victims (not only of Katrina, but victims in general, all over the world) have all the strength they need to rise back in life.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Remembering Terror

This is a day nobody could possibly forget; a day that had brought out the worst face of terrorism. And the most poignant part of this day being the thousands who suffered for no fault of theirs...and the thousands related to the perished, who'd have to bear these brutal memories and scars, for life.

I couldn't believe the pictures being shown on TV that day in 2001; nobody could. Planes slamming into the World Trade Centers!! Whoever would have thought of that...except for these terrorists who seem to be existing without a heart, without a soul, without anything related to humanity, barring the physical traits. At times, I am seized by this crazy desire to sit with these terrorists, speak to them and try to understand what motivates them to resort to such extreme barbarism, in what way has the common man wronged them and why they vent their frustration on the innocents. Would their God ever appreciate what they are doing to the world? Can hatred ever assume such gigantic proportions? I can't even start to think what it would take to wipe terrorism off earth for once and for all. Honestly, I am so overcome with my helplessness today...I am reminded that I am not in a position to bring about any change whatsoever, no matter how much I desire for love to reign supreme in the world. And once again I find myself looking up and asking Him how much longer would He just sit there and watch the proceedings here. It's His world that man is shredding to pieces. Doesn't He think it's about time He taught man a lesson he would never forget? How much more bloodshed would this planet need to endure, how many more precious and noble lives would be snuffed out by this wave of malevolence?

As always there are more questions than answers. Fresh threats have been issued...and this time the targets pointed out are Los Angeles and Melbourne. In this moment of despair, all I can do is send up a sincere prayer...Lord, if it's your duty to punish the culprits, it is also your duty to protect the blameless. Trust is fast disappearing...it seems to be a mere word in the dictionary. But never let our trust in you falter. And I have always believed that betrayal is known only to man...never to you. Keep the innocent in your tender care always. Do not bring us to the test but deliver us from all that is evil.
Thought for the Day
What is yours will remain yours, even when it is not with you.

About Me
24 year-old female Arian. wheatish complexion, long hair, slender frame. After being a citizen of the world an Indian to the core

Fav Books: The Alchemist, Harry Potter
Fav Movie: The eternal Titanic
Fan of: Salman Khan, the English language
Fav line: When you want something very badly, the entire universe conspires to help you have it. [The Alchemist]

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